Critiquing Photographs

A GUIDE TO CRITIQUING THE PHOTOGRAPHS OF OTHERS

– What is your first, intuitive or visceral reaction? Do you like the photo?

– Does it show artistic vision or is it just a lucky shot?

– Are you drawn into the image? Is it compelling?

– Do your eyes want to linger or is it a quick read and you’re ready to move on to the next image?

– What is the photo about?

– What is the subject of the photo? Is it too obvious or too subtle?

– Do you sense the photographer’s connection to, or caring for, the subject matter?

– Do you sense the photographer’s presence in the image?

– Are the technical aspects (exposure, contrast, color balance, etc.) of sufficient quality?

– Are there any technical deficiencies that get in the way of experiencing the photo or the intent?

– Have you seen similar images? How is it the same or different than those?

– Does it fit in to a particular photographic genre? (like nature, landscape, documentary, abstract…)

– Is it a good example of that genre or a copycat or generic example?

– Are you shown anything new? Is there a unique perspective or point of view being shared?

– Is there a mood or feeling portrayed? What is that mood or feeling?

– Are the photos well ‘seen’? Is the whole frame utilized, corner-to-corner, edge-to-edge?

– Could the photograph be framed or cropped more effectively? How?

– Where does your eye enter the frame?

– Where in the photo is your eye drawn? How does it more through the frame? Where does it land?

– Is your eye let out of the frame? Where?

– Is there a metaphor, intended or unintended in the photo? What is it? Is it too obvious or cliche?

– Does the metaphor deepen your understanding of the photographers intent? Or your enjoyment of the photo?

– Are there any additional layers of meaning intended or implied?

– How could the photo be made stronger? Or clearer? Or more subtle? Or simpler?

– What would you have done differently?

 

©Douglas Beasley 2013